The newest addition to the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office had a productive shift last weekend.

Owen, the department’s new K-9 officer, assisted in two drug arrests stemming from traffic stops the night of Friday, Dec. 7, and the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 8. Owen is a dual-purpose K-9 who specializes in drug detection as well as tracking. He began working with his handler in September 2018.

According to a release from the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office, a traffic stop was conducted on a 1999 Chevy Tahoe driven by Jesse Stringer, 31, of La Crosse. After Owen’s alert, the vehicle was searched, and 20.2 grams of cocaine and 22 grams of marijuana was seized along with a scale and packaging materials.

Stringer was arrested and charged with possession and intent to deliver. He’s facing several felony charges for drug possession and intent to deliver in La Crosse County and has multiple felony convictions on his record. He’s next due in Buffalo County Court on Jan. 16.

A few hours later, another traffic stop was conducted on a 2013 Chevy Impala driven by Samantha Hermanson, 28, of Utica, Minn. Owen again alerted deputies to search the car, and 16.2 grams of methamphetamine, packaged in several baggies, along with a scale and paraphernalia were located. Hermanson was arrested for possession with intent to deliver.

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Hermanson has no criminal record in Wisconsin or Minnesota. She’s next due in Buffalo County Court on Jan. 16.

The Buffalo County K-9 program is run off donations from the public, the sheriff’s department said.

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